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  • Dr. Kendra Becker

NO NO N2O!!

The perils of Nitrous Oxide and MTHFR

The research is clear and indisputable that using Nitrous Oxide with a MTHFR SNP (mutation) puts those individuals at a higher risk for complications and death! In the last year, the news reported over 5 kids under the age of 8 who died receiving “routine” dental care. There is no need for another such sorrow!

As parents and genetic carriers of MTHFR, it is important to make our providers aware of our uniqueness. THIS should NEVER be disputed, if it is find another provider, there are lots of providers who are understanding and educated about MTHFR and will work with you and your mutation.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) has been used for well over 150 years in clinical dentistry for its analgesic and anxiolytic properties. It’s a simple inorganic chemical molecule has effects of analgesia, anti-anxiety, and anesthesia. Findings to date indicate that the analgesic effect of N2O is opioid in nature, and, like morphine, may involve a myriad of neuromodulators such as GABA and NMDA.

N2O is a known oxidizer of cobalamin (B12). Inhaling nitrous oxide halts methylation by inactivating the vitamin B12 reserves in the body, where natural B12 is rendered useless, unless there are adequate nutrients available to restore it back to its active and effective state. Vitamin B12 is essential for the maintenance of a healthy nervous system; because B12 and folate work together Folate is also destroyed by this process, compounded by a MTHFR mutation, which causes faulty methylation to begin with.

Decreased methylation activity results in increased homocysteine blood levels, which has been associated with changes blood vessel elasticity, increased coagulopathy and atherosclerosis in adults. Other research has demonstrated evidence of DNA changes in individuals with nitrous oxide exposures. Multiple studies have shown an increased sensitivity to anesthetics in the rapidly developing brain as well as the aged brain. These studies have even shown a long-term effect on learning. Currently, we lack a body of evidence about the long-term effects on health of workers exposed to chronic low levels of nitrous; this is an area that clearly needs more examination.

The symptoms of such damage vary, and have included severe weakness of the arms and legs in some, and in a handful of cases, episodes of mental illness. Treatment with high doses of B12 is effective, but some damage can be irreversible. It is likely that less severe vitamin B12 deficiencies caused by nitrous oxide overuse go undiagnosed, but cause milder symptoms, such as depression, forgetfulness and tiredness which may go uncorrelated to the N2O exposure.

Proper balance and function of both Methylfoalte and methylcobalamin are necessary for appropriate cell functioning as well as methylation and detox. Low levels of either due to faulty methylation or diet can put an individual at greater risk.

The Risk is highest for: • Dentists and their staff who inhale second-hand gas all day long. • Individuals with MTHFR polymorphism • Individuals who are Vitamin B12 or folate deficient • Individuals with any chronic condition/disease( ie. Lyme, autism, reflux, autoimmune diseases, to name a few)

In individuals with a COMT mutation as well could experience HIGHER pain levels with N2O; other mutations will cause a less desired outcome and may require higher dosing of N2O leading to further methylation damage.

Knowledge is always power, share your concerns with your provider and have an open dialogue about the risks and benefits for your particular situation! ‪#‎mthfr‬ ‪#‎drkendrabecker‬ ‪#‎mito‬

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18580170 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3919550/ http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa021867 http://www.goldenstatenewspapers.com/…/article_3a0565d0-7e9… http://wwlp.com/2014/…/23/child-dies-after-visiting-dentist/ http://www.nj.com/…/…/02/irvington_dentist_probed_after.html